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As Families Struggle, College Commits to Meeting Financial Needs for 2020-21

Posted: April 24, 2020

“With so many families experiencing unemployment, loss of income, and financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus, many are understandably anxious that they won’t be able to afford the cost of tuition next year,” says Thomas Aquinas College President Michael F. McLean. “We want to relieve our families of this concern. The College’s Financial Aid office is fully prepared to make our program of Catholic liberal education affordable for all of our students and their families in 2020-21, regardless of their circumstances.”

Ever since it opened its doors nearly 50 years ago, Thomas Aquinas College has upheld its founders’ commitment to never turn away any student — whether new or returning — on the basis of financial need. Despite the economic ravages of COVID-19, that commitment remains in effect for the upcoming year, even if fulfilling it will be significantly more challenging.

“Nothing has changed about what we do except for the scale of it,” says Gregory Becher, director of financial aid. “Whenever a family runs into hard times, we adjust our financial aid package accordingly. Many more families are likely to find themselves in such situations this year, but we will do what we have always done to make sure that they can afford this education.”  

Thomas Aquinas College families are expected to make a maximum effort to cover their students’ tuition and room & board expenses, after which the Financial Aid Office meets all demonstrated need through modest loans, on-campus jobs, and direct grants, if necessary. Not wanting graduates to be saddled with crippling debt, the College expects students to borrow no more than $18,000 over the course of their four years of study.

For many years, national college and financial guides have recognized Thomas Aquinas College for its commitment to affordability. Last year, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranked TAC as the No. 1 “Best Value” among all American colleges and universities. The Princeton Review annually awards the College with its highest-possible ranking for financial aid. And for the last three years, CNBC has named Thomas Aquinas College to its list of the 10 most generous colleges for financial aid.

To meet the rising need, Thomas Aquinas College is grateful as ever for God’s providence, made manifest through the generosity of many benefactors. “It is humbling to see how friends are stepping forward to help the College’s students,” says Dr. McLean. “Thanks to their efforts, we will weather what looks to be a very serious economic downturn, and we will continue to offer an education that is as affordable as it is excellent.”

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“I thank you so much for what you are doing at Thomas Aquinas College. I hope there will always be a Thomas Aquinas College. Your contributions to the Church and the world are marvelous to behold.”

– John Cardinal O’Connor (†)

Archbishop of New York